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Mount Pelinaio

Mount Pelinaio is located at the northwestern edge of Chios. It is the highest mountain on the island with an altitude of 1,297 meters and is one of the highest mountains in the Aegean. The ascent to the top is done through two paths. One starts near the village of Spartounta and the other from the village of Viki.

The blue church of Agia Triada, which awaits riders at the top, is characteristic of the mountain. It is made of metal sheets and tied with wire ropes to the rocks, so that the wind does not blow it away. Every year, on the day of the Holy Spirit, many people go up there to celebrate this feast. 

Pelinaio remains impressive all four seasons of the year. Dressed in snow in winter, blooming in spring, full of attractive colors in autumn and against the backdrop of the vastness of the Aegean in summer, it is a destination that will be unforgettable for mountaineering lovers.

The myth that traveled to northern Italy

According to this version, the first inhabitant of Chios was Oinopionas, who had a sister, Evryali. At that time the gods had children with any beautiful woman they wanted. So, Poseidon had a son with Evryali. This child was Orion, a demigod, since he had a god for a father, with supernatural abilities. So Oinopionas, the king and inhabitant of Chios, called his nephew and gave him the order to clear Chios from the dragons and wild beasts that nested in the area of ​​Mount Pelinaios and terrorized the people. 

Orion completed his mission. And because he was a skilled hunter, and arrogant, he told Oinopion that he must mediate with Zeus to fight the goddess Artemis, since Orion considered himself better than her in hunting. Pelinaio was defined as the place of duel. 

Orion and Artemis fought all day, but Zeus did not show a winner, in order to avoid upsetting them. Then Orion went to embrace the goddess as a sign of noble rivalry. However, the embrace of the goddess by a demigod constituted her desecration, which is why the mountain was “torn” in two, while Orion then died from the bite of a giant scorpion.

So the myth of Orion and Artemis is hidden behind the two peaks of Pelinaios, which are 2350 meters away and it takes about an hour to get from one to the other. 

The myth may end at this point, but its course in history and its symbolism does not end here. This is proven by the fact that two constellations of the night sky are named Scorpio and Orion. And what connects them? In the summer nights, when the constellation of Scorpio rises and ascends to the firmament, at the same time the constellation of Orion descends, looking as if it carries the memory of its deadly bite. 

The story is from KEOS issue two

Secrets of the Mastic